25 November, 2009

Scenes from our balcony

I am having trouble putting a lot of photos on this page.  So I guess I will just begin talking to you, those who are listening, if anyone is.

I stay with friends, Mohini and Rama. Mohini I have known since 1971 when she became my Hindi teacher.  Since then we have become more than friends. I consider her my Indian mother.

 She lives in an urban area outside Noida, a newly built city across the river from Delhi. We can stand on the balcony and watch at least part of the world go by. These photos are a part of that world.

Everyday the vegetable wallah comes and all the ladies gather to buy their veggies for the day. There is a lot of bargaining, loud voices and frantic gestures.

Across the street, if you can call it a street, really a lane, is a small building.  There Muslims from the area come and pray.  This man is the caretaker. On Islamic holidays, huge pots of food are cooked and placed on fires and everyone comes to eat. Different bands play, everyone sings and there is a great joy. However, the neighborhood, which is predominantly Hindu are not so excited. In the interest of communal peace, no one really complains unless it goes on for more  than 24 hours. One night without sleep is not too big a sacrifice.

Every Thursday all the children from poor families line up for sweets at this little mosque. It matters not whether they are Muslim, Hindu or Christian, everyone is given a piece of candy or a cooked sweet.

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